BVI News

Damage to beach project seems ‘significant’

Ronald Smith-Berkeley

While noting that the damage to the Brandywine Bay beach project seems significant, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources Ronald Smith-Berkeley said an assessment of the damage is underway and a report should be available next week.

The beach, which was budgeted at $1.5 million, was eroded partially when a tropical wave battered sections of the island last week Monday, August 7.

Smith-Berkeley stated that, until he gets the assessment report from the team headed by the Department of Disaster Management, he is unable to say if the cost of the project will increase or if other changes will be made.

“As soon as the assessment team has made their assessment, then a decision will be made as to how to move forward,” he told BVI News Online.

Smith-Berkeley, when pressed, said he has made some observations although he is not an engineer.

“From a lay person’s point of view, I would think the damage is significant,” he said.

“I also think one can reasonably expect further delays on the project, but that is looking at it from a lay person’s point of view.”

The project faced delays before the tropical wave hit the territory this month. Back in April, Minister of Natural Resources and Labour Dr Kedrick Pickering said the Brandywine Bay Beach project had suffered setbacks, resulting in the completion date being pushed back to the start of the next tourism season.

Weeks before the beach was eroded partially, Dr Pickering said such misfortune was likely, considering that the pond in the area had been destroyed.

“With all the work that we have done on the beach at Brandywine Bay, the destruction of the pond over the years now puts the beach that close to destroying all of the hard work that we have done,” the minister said in July, adding that restoration of the pond could be undertaken by the recently appointed board of trustees of the Virgin Islands Climate Change Trust Fund.

Below are photos of the damaged beach project captured by Freelance Photographer ANDRE ‘SHADOW’ DAWSON

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